Identification of an Epigenetically Marked Locus within the Sex Determination Region of Channel Catfish

Yujia Yang, Tao Zhou, Yang Liu, Changxu Tian, Lisui Bao, Wenwen Wang, Yu Zhang, Shikai Liu, Huitong Shi, Suxu Tan, Dongya Gao, Rex A. Dunham, Zhanjiang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Channel catfish has an XY sex determination system. However, the X and Y chromosomes harbor an identical gene content of 950 genes each. In this study, we conducted comparative analyses of methylome and transcriptome of genetic males and genetic females before gonadal differentiation to provide insights into the mechanisms of sex determination. Differentially methylated CpG sites (DMCs) were predominantly identified on the sex chromosome, most notably within the sex determination region (SDR), although the overall methylation profiles across the entire genome were similar between genetic males and females. The drastic differences in methylation were located within the SDR at nucleotide position 14.0–20.3 Mb of the sex chromosome, making this region an epigenetically marked locus within the sex determination region. Most of the differentially meth-ylated CpG sites were hypermethylated in females and hypomethylated in males, suggesting potential involvement of methylation modification in sex determination in channel catfish. Along with the differential methylation in the SDR, a number of differentially expressed genes within the SDR were also identified between genetic males and females, making them potential candidate genes for sex determination and differentiation in channel catfish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5471
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • RNA-Seq
  • epigenetics
  • fish
  • methylation
  • sex determination
  • sex differentiation
  • transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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